Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review - RockyTop Swine Shine and Carolina Q Rub

Company: Rocky Top BBQ Co. LLC
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Carolina Swine Shine: $6.25 + Shipping and Handeling
Carolina Q Rub: $7.95 + Shipping and Handling

It's been a while since my last post. Life and work have been busy, but I haven't stopped cooking, tasting and testing. You might recognize the name Rocky Top BBQ Co. from BBQ Pitmasters or the interview I did with them (you can read it here).

Jonathan and his crew have added a few more trophies and catered a few more events and come out with a rub and sauce they use on their divine swine. I have tried both and both are good. Their sauce has become my go to Carolina sauce. It's that good.

Swine Shine

Let's start with the Swine Shine. Looking at it in the bottle it looks like a Kansas City style sauce but it is a Western Carolina style sauce, vinegar base with tomato added. In the Carolina's it is considered a dip more so than a sauce. It's thicker than a traditional mop but not as thick as a traditional BBQ sauce. You can put a little in a side bowl and dip your meat in it as you eat.

The color is a deep red, from the tomatoes and other spices in it and you can see the spices suspended in it. When you smell it you get the twang of vinegar and the smell of pepper. It has a nice hit of vinegar, followed by a nice sweet undertone with a kick of heat at the end.  It compliments a well cooked piece of meat with the extra flavors and brings a little spice to it.

The sauce works well to mop the meat while it's cooking and as a dip when your eating. The sauce is well rounded and works very well with the Carolina Q Rub. They flavors of each compliment each other.

Carolina Q Rub

The rub compliments the sauce very well in flavor and color. It is a fine ground rub that spreads evenly when shaken out of the bottle. Smelling it you get the aromas of pepper, paprika and other spices. Tasting it you get a salty beginning with just a hint of sweet followed, again, by heat. When tasting it dry it isn't the most flavorful rub I've had but when it is on meat it brings out the meats flavor and enhances it for a great bite.  Combined with the sauce you get a really great flavor and meat that anyone would enjoy. 


I used both the rub and the sauce in a couple of cooks. The first was with pork chops. I sprinkled the 
rub on the the porkchops about 30 minutes before I grilled them and let the Carolina Q Rub do it's magic on the meat. I put the porkchops on the grill and when they were almost done I brushed the Swine Shine on and let it set. They pork chops were a hit with the family. They said they were some of the best that I have ever made. 
Ready to grill.

Ready to serve.
I also tried the rub on some butts I cooked. I rubbed the butts the night before I cooked them. As they cooked I used the Swine Shine as a mop. The butts came out perfect and were a big hit. I also used the Swine shine as a dip as I enjoyed my perfectly cooked pork. 
Starting off. 

Almost there.

Perfect pull. 


I like both the Carolina Q Rub and the Swine Shine. They both bring great flavor to the meat your cooking and compliment it very well. While the rub doesn't pack quite enough flavor for me by itself the complimenting sauce rounds it out and packs a great flavor punch on its own. On the Gibbs Ribs Scale* I would give the Carolina Q Rub a 3/4 rack of ribs and the Swine Shine a full rack. Together they get a full rack plus a side of hush-puppies. Do yourself a favor and give them a try. 

*When I do reviews, books or otherwise, I rate the items with ribs (they are my favorite BBQ dish). A full rack is great and a single rib is poor. I will tend to stick to a full rack, half rack or one rib.

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